Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John’s Push for Better Breast Health

October 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm , by

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and one celebrity who is committed to the cause and to early detection is Olivia Newton-John. While Olivia is well known for her talents as an actress and a singer, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and is now cancer-free. This month, Olivia is a part of 1 a Minute, a docudrama that follows a woman’s journey through breast cancer and hits theaters for one night only, October 6. After the film is over theaters will broadcast a live discussion about breast cancer, with Olivia among the panelists. We spoke with her recently about Liv Aid (a self-exam aid she’s created to encourage women to be more active in their breast health), as well as the cancer and wellness center she’s building, her new album, and her rockin’ guest role on Glee.

A breast self-exam led to your breast cancer diagnosis eighteen years ago. What do you want women to know about early detection, and why is it so important?

Early detection is key. Lumps are benign in the majority of cases, but if it’s a cancerous tumor, the earlier you find it and get it removed, the better the outcome. That’s why women should do regular breast self-examinations. They should have yearly mammograms after age 40 and girls should start doing regular self-exams after age 20. That sounds really young but Dr. Ernie Bodai, who’s our medical advisor on the Liv board, told us he’s getting more and more young girls who have been turned away by their doctors saying, it couldn’t possibly be, and by the time the tumor is found it’s large. Read more

Don’t Miss This Show on Thanksgiving Day

November 24, 2009 at 11:18 am , by


I have too many friends and loved ones who are fighting cancer. I’ll bet you know some, too. That stinks, and we’ve got to stop it. That’s why Ladies’ Home Journal got involved with Kaleidoscope, a “celebration of ice skating, song and survivorship” that airs on Thanksgiving Day.

Taped in Washington, D.C. on November 16, the show is a feel-good extravaganza. It features charming skating numbers by Olympic hopefuls as well as veterans such as cancer survivors Dorothy Hamill and Scott Hamilton. Hamilton (above, far right, with the cast) is especially inspiring. Not only does he serve as a co-host of the show, but the 51-year-old also performs jumps and back flips on the ice that athletes half his age would find daunting.

OliviaBreast-cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John (left, with me and LHJ’s publisher, Julie Pinkwater) also sings and shares hosting duties (she looks fabulous!). And American Idol stars David Archuleta and Katharine McPhee belt out songs that will put you in the holiday mood. When you watch the show, check out McPhee’s fabulous new look with her platinum blond hair and metallic miniskirt. I met Archuleta briefly in the makeup room, and he was as adorable as you would imagine. What impressed me most, though, was that voice. When he sang a simple, elegant and powerful rendition of “Silent Night,” he made this cynical old journalist tear up a bit.Viktor Julie

So how was I lucky enough to get behind the scenes? Well, I’m in the show, too! Nope, I’m a crappy skater. But I get to deliver some “did you know?” cancer-prevention tips. Watch for me before the commercial breaks. I’m thrilled to play a small part in this tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people who are diagnosed with cancer each year in this country. And, of course, to hobnob with Olympic heroes, like Hamill and Hamilton—and sexy and funny gold medalist Viktor Petrenko (right). Happy and healthy Thanksgiving to all!

Kaleidoscope is a show you don’t want to miss! Tune in on Thanksgiving Day at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (after football) on Fox.

Photos courtesy of Peter Staples.